Originally conceived as a promotional event targeting consumers and booksellers, the annual Paris book fair—Salon du Livre—is increasingly B2B. This year (March 16—21) the French book promotion agency France Edition is stimulating still more rights traffic by organizing the visit of 50 publishers from elsewhere in the European Union (Britain included) that translate extensively from the French. This will supplement the presence of a small group of foreign publishers—Americans among them—that already treat the Salon as an incipient international fair.

A good day to show up would be Monday, March 19, when the doors open only for professionals. The Salon's chief asset is the presence of just about every publishing house in France—Paris and the provinces, sci-tech and professional as well as trade—together with publishers from other French-speaking countries and those who regularly trade with France. In all, over 500 booths have been booked on over 500,000 square feet of exhibition surface at the Porte de Versailles fairgrounds. Some 30,000 professionals are expected—principally booksellers, librarians and educators—and upwards of 235,000 visitors, who can buy books at the stands and take them home.

This year's Salon will feature an e-book seminar primarily European in scope, but the list of 60 speakers contains the usual suspects from the U.S.

Germany is this year's spotlight country, and German publishers and their official and semipublic institutions are mounting an impressive show.